York Trophy Blog #102 ~ Selby’s night life has been given four new options in the last week or two. These new venues have created numerous jobs, investment and opportunities. It is also another way to relax with friends and family saving the hassle of travelling to our near by towns and cities. Any reason to ‘stay local’ is a good thing for our local economy. Over £200,000 has been spent on the old Market Tavern site by A&J Inns. Based in Bradford, the company has invested a large amount of cash to create the Square Bar over three levels. They know what works having run the huge Big Fella’s nightclub in Pontefract for 15 years. It is great to see money being invested into an empty building that was sat doing nothing. On the other side of town, The Treehouse has opened opposite Superdrug on Gowthorpe. The new manager has been in the trade for many years and I’m sure we all wish him well in his new venture. My office is over the road from this site and I have listened to the various drills and saws from the tradesmen as they completely revamped the interior. I’ve alos overheard positive news about the cocktails on the menu from people stood outside. Also recently opened are two new restaurants, again taking over empty retails spaces. Olives and Grills has given Selby folk a new option when deciding about going out. Its Turkish and Mediterranean options have been given good reviews on social media sites. Delilah’s has also opened opposite the Library, again a lot of money and energy has been involved transforming the old offices into a modem bar and restaurant.  
Trophy Blog #95 ~ Local business owners and shop keepers in the area are always thinking of ways of attracting shoppers and visitorsinto the town. Once new visitors see what is on offer, they could be tempted to leave the near by busy cities and stay longer in Selby. One event happening soon is the Selby Food & Wine Festival due to take place on the 12th July. Lots of local suppliers, caterers and producers are working together to create a bigger and improved attraction for us to attend. This is the third year it has taken place and this time is on a much bigger scale. You may have attended the first two held indoors at Selby Town Hall. Richard Sharp of Mollie Sharp’s Cheese & Deli on Finkle street is the mastermind behind the event along with Tony from Rooms4all and Richard from Heaven & Home. This year a lot of red tape and paperwork has been filled in to make it even better. Selby community groups have pulled out all the stops to move it outdoors so more people can enjoy what is on offer. Richard says that with the cooperation of Selby Town Council and other sponsors, it has been possible to expand the event into the town centre itself. Lots of stalls and food tasting events are taking place outside on the market place outside the Abbey and expanding along Finkle street itself. This will be a great day out with something for everyone, so why not go and try something different, get tasting something new as it may become your new favourite food! Check out their website http://www.selbyfoodfestival.co.uk/ or call into mollies cheese shop for more details.
  Trophy Blog #93 ~ We have lots of activity and noise coming from Selby town center at the moment, and this can only be a good thing for Selby’s shoppers and visitors. From my office desk I can hear all sorts of machines creating new and improved selling space. Lots of work has taken place at the new leisure center site on Scott Road with the main carcass of the building now in place. The YMCA charity shop has had a nice new sign put up and Selby Hands of Hope will be taking over the Kelly Designs building on Brook Street. We have worked with Selby’ Hands of Hope’s Wendy and Richard on a number of projects in the past and we wish them all the best with the continued work they do for the people of Selby and the surrounding area. The old Jack Fultons freezer store on Market Cross has been completely stripped back lots of different tradesmen are inside creating the new and bigger store. The poster outside says that it will Savers taking over the unit. I presume the current Savers store near Wilkinsons, will be transferring over to the new location once the work is completed. Once Savers has relocated, this opens up three empty shops next to Peacocks on Abbey Walk. These units could be knocked into one larger unit, with a number of retailers being linked to the larger space. A lot of discussions have taken place online recently as to who the local shoppers would like to come and trade in Selby. Famous high street retailers such as Marks and Spenser and Poundland have been getting the most mentions. If I hear of any news, I’ll mention it in future columns.
  Trophy Blog #91 – A few months ago, the local Selby facebook group made front page news, some progress has now been made to the future of the ‘SOS Save our Selby. It is a very useful forum for business owners such as myself and I hope we all stay on the right track of promoting Selby businesses, it’s attractions and 99.9% of the great people that live and work in the area. Up until a few weeks ago I was an administrator for the group, I was one of seven people who had the very basic task of adding and welcoming people to the group, general housekeeping and keeping an eye out for spam adverts. We also checked on member’s comments and made sure no one was being abused or insulted by other members of the group. Issues had been resolved by the required person replying with ideas or information in answer to the question. Many stories in the Selby Times and Post have come from the comments and postings made from the 700+ members involved. We even got into communication with somebody at North Yorkshire County Council about the state of the poor repairs on the bypass. Sadly a few weekends ago, a political issue was posted and various heated opinions and tangents started off from it. Everyone is entitled to free speech, but sadly the topic went away from the whole idea of ‘promoting Selby’. At the time of writing this column, the group is now seeking new administrators, Sadly, I’m not going to reapply for the role, I’m self-employed and have wages and bills to pay, I can’t afford to get caught up in any negative or political agendas. I’m just going to sit back and watch from now on.
Trophy Blog #64 ~ 2014 will hopefully see the start of some massive engineering projects in the Selby area. As long as all the red tape is cleared and all questions and enquiries are answered, we can look forward to three huge projects taking place. The Main one is the new Leisure centre on Scott Road. We have been told that the money is in place and work should start soon. Before Christmas, engineers started work on levelling and surveying the area, so the next stage will be putting the new foundations into place. While I have questioned it’s lack of family and children’s facilities, (No Slides, fun pool etc) I would prefer it to be built rather than having an empty unused space. We have recently seen the old Hovis factory cleared on Barlby Road, again this has halted due to various enquiries, but new retail and homes have been planned for the space. Hopefully this will link to the mystery roundabout on the bypass that dosent do anything. Finally we still have the old Rigid Paper site on Denison Road which has been completely removed of buildings and has plans to become a Marina. When I lived in my old flat overlooking the Selby Locks, I watched hundreds of barges and pleasure craft arriving and stopping off during the summer months. Each one had a family on board ready to spend some money. Selby needs more tourists as they have ‘holiday money’ in their wallets and purses ready to spend. Tourism and giving shoppers what they want is the way forward for the local economy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS-c1qnwHmw